• COMMENTARY: If It Looks And Acts Like A Patent Troll…

    On May 22, 2015, K Street Eyes published Patent Troll Investors Beware, which examined the poor behavior of prison technology service provider and patent enthusiast, Securus Technologies (STI). Against the backdrop of impending PATENT legislation in Congress, revelations from the Huffington Post on STI’s overleveraged debt load, and KSE’s support for aggressive prison reform, we were extremely interested in the future of the company given some of the serious red flags that were being raised by their behavior.

    It appears that we were correct to worry.

    According to last Friday’s press release from Global Tel*Link (GTL), the Patent Trial and Appeals Board (PTAB) recently invalidated two of STI’s centralized call processing patents for their striking similarity to existing call processing patents.

    So now, on top of a whopping debt load of $845 million, STI has been exposed as an abusive litigator who uses the patent system as an opportunity for an ill-begotten leg up on their competitors. In fact, over the last 15 years, STI has filed 12 lawsuits against 19 industry competitors, claiming patent infringement on a variety of different patents held by the prison technology company.

    STI’s competitor GTL continues to claim that STI has imposed a “virtual tollbooth” on the prison technology industry, blocking innovation and seriously encumbering the ability of smaller companies to compete in the market place.

    Although the statements of this industry competitor should be taken with a grain of salt, KSE is inclined to agree that the predatory actions of litigation happy STI have significantly slowed the growth of innovative solutions in the market place. By creating a sense of insecurity regarding intellectual property, STI has discouraged competitors from developing new technologies for fear of potential litigation.

    Additionally, as if patent abuse and overleveraged debt loads didn’t raise enough red flags, STI has proven to be quite adept at putting together press releases that embody the writing style of a petulant child. They have repeatedly challenged industry counterparts to a “technology bake-off” and their most recent press release is a hectically arranged, poorly constructed attempt to respond to the claims of GTL after a sweeping decision from the PTAB.

    Well, if STI is not a good investment opportunity, at the very least it provides us with constant and unlimited source of entertainment

    K Street Eyes

    K Street Eyes is an expert in all things shady and humorous.

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